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I think one thing that differentiates the Lions from the rest of these teams is the presence of an experienced quarterback who towards the end of last season started looking much more comfortable and decisive in the pocket and with his reads and, especially, with stretching the field vertically. Make no mistake about it; Detroit has pieces: A stout and talented offensive line, a rising star at tight end, field-stretching threats in Chark and eventually Jameson, an excellent move-the-chains wideout in St. Brown, and solid if not necessarily flashy running backs. I think that Goff and this offense are going to surprise people this year, perhaps to the tune of a top-ten finish in offensive DVOA. As for the defense, well, to paraphrase a friend of mine, building a team is hard. Aiden Hutchinson and Charles Harris should be a formidable pass-rushing tandem, I expect marked improvement from Jeff Okudah, and Aaron Glenn is a fine DC, but man are they soft up the middle at all three levels. It should be a fun season in Detroit, with raucous crowds (which will be awesome because Detroit really is one of our best sports towns!) and tons of points. I’ll eagerly hammer the over on 6 wins and won’t be the least bit surprised if they contend for a playoff spot and give the Packers, Vikings and Bears fits. I also believe that the Jags are going to be better than people think, and I came across a national writer who pegged them at 10-7, but I think that’s a bit of a stretch.

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